Taiwan: signing of peace accord with China not a priority

Wang Yu-chi, Taiwan’s Minister of the Mainland Affairs Council, said December 5 that judging from the statement and general opinion from the recent 18th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), his assessment is that Beijing will increase pressure on Taiwan to start political dialogue, especially on a “peace accord” between the two sides.

Quoted in the United Daily News, he said that Taiwan’s government has its own thinking on negotiating a peace accord, adding that “the cross-strait peace agreement will be different from a truce, or a non-aggression pact,” but both sides should work hard to identify the core common ground before framing the agreement.

Wang said, in terms of international practice, the majority of peace accords are truces or non-aggression treaties, but this no longer applies to current cross-strait relations. After all, there are no longer military conflicts and confrontation between the two sides.

Specifically on a cross-strait peace accord, said Minister Wang, mainland China should put forward more substantive content, otherwise it would be difficult to have a discussion. He stressed that the signing of a peace accord is not a priority of Taiwanese government policy.

He pointed out, “If mainland China wants to talk about the agreement of unification, such a topic is not acceptable to Taiwan’s mainstream public opinion currently.” Wang made the remarks as he delivered a special report to the ruling Kuomintang’s Central Standing Committee on the CCP’s 18th National Congress and its implications for cross-strait relations.

On December 10, President Ma Ying-jeou stressed in an interview with the Commercial Times that it would be beneficial to both sides when Taiwan and the mainland take a pragmatic approach to a cross-strait peace agreement. However, Beijing should first make a substantive proposal towards such a peace agreement, describing what kind of function a peace accord would serve, and whether this would make cross-strait interactions better than at present.

He said that international scholars are highly concerned about the two sides’ negotiating a peace accord. He often asked them: “What content do you think that a cross-strait peace accord should have?”

President Ma said that political consultation is not a priority for his government, adding that any critical development of relations with the mainland cannot be achieved overnight. The direction of his government’s current work is to build an expandable and durable framework for relations with the mainland, which can be the basis on which to promote future peaceful cross-strait development no matter who takes control of the government.

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